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Johann Pachelbel

August 1653 - March 1706
born in Nuremberg, Germany, composed during the Baroque period
Johann Pachelbel is unfairly viewed as a one-work composer, that work being the popular Canon in D major, for three violins and continuo. He was an important figure from the Baroque period who is now seen as central in the development of both keyboard music and Protestant church music. Some have summarized his primary contribution as the uniting of Catholic Gregorian chant elements with the Northern German organ style, a style that reflected the influence of the Protestant chorale. A Lutheran, he spent several years in Vienna where he was exposed to music by Frohberger and Frescobaldi, which influenced his work with the chorale-prelude. His music in this genre would in turn influence the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach, among others. It should be noted that many of Pachelbel's works are difficult to date, thus rendering judgments about his stylistic evolution questionable in many cases. Pachelbel was also a gifted organist and harpsichordist.

Pachelbel was born in August of 1653 and baptized on September 1. He showed musical talent early on and began studies first with Heinrich Schwemmer and later with George Kaspar Wecker, the latter instructing in composition and on organ. Pachelbel received his general education at St. Lorenz high school, and in 1669 he enrolled at the university in Altdorf. Pachelbel did not come from a wealthy family and earned meager sums serving as organist at the Lorenzkirche. He thus could not garner enough money to keep up with the tuition costs at the university and had to leave after about a year.

After a brief period of private study following his departure, Pachelbel traveled to Vienna and obtained an assistant organist post at St. Stephen's Cathedral in 1673. Four years later he took a position as court organist in Eisenach, where Bach would be born in 1685. He would become a close friend of the Bach family and teach both Johann Sebastian and Johann Christoph. Pachelbel left after a year at Eisenach however, and became organist at the Predigerkirche in Erfurt, in 1678.

The composer married Barbara Gabler in 1681, and by 1683 he was a father. In September of that year however, tragedy struck as a plague swept through Erfurt, taking his wife and infant son. Four sets of chorale variations appeared around this time under the title of Musicalische Sterbens-Gedancken (Musical Thoughts of Death). During this period his organ chorales would become his most important works.

In August 1684, Pachelbel married Judith Drommer. One of their seven children would be the composer, organist, and harpsichordist Wilhelm Hieronymus Pachelberg, born 1686. In 1690 Pachelbel took a post as Court organist at Stuttgart and appeared quite satisfied, but left after two years due to an impending invasion by French forces. He served next as municipal organist at Gotha, from the fall of 1692 until April 1695. He returned to Nuremberg around the latter time, eventually to become organist at St. Sebalduskirche (summer, 1695). He would serve for nearly 11 years in this post, producing his most famous vocal scores, as well as his great Magnificat fugues. In 1699 he produced his important collection of six arias, Hexachordum Apollinis, for organ or harpsichord. Pachelbel was buried in Nuremberg on March 9, 1706, and apparently had died on March 3. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Johann Pachelbel Keyboard Suites

Title: Suite, For Keyboard In F Major, T. 310
Title: Suite, For Keyboard In D Minor (No. 26), T. 305
Title: Suite, For Keyboard In G Major, T. 314
Title: Suite, For Keyboard In G Minor (No. 33), T. 315
Title: Suite, For Keyboard In G Minor (No. 33b), T. 316 (Attributed)
Title: Suite, For Keyboard In C Major (No. 25), T. 301
Title: Suite, For Keyboard In A Major (No. 36), T. 318
Title: Suite, For Keyboard In E Minor (No. 28), T. 308
Title: Suite, For Keyboard In E Minor (No. 29), T. 309

Comments

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woofnmew2
I have three or four versions of this on my iPad and love every one of them.
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jthomp830
This is easily the most beautiful song ever written!
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pandora35051
wow
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The Kingdom of God can be created here on Earth into a paradise, a Life Divine here-now for all of us to partake at this point, the power of Now until the end of time for evermore (w/ Peace-Love-J o y reigning in sovereignty) .
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i love this song did you know its a wedding and a lullaby combined
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One of my favorites. It makes me think of May Day of yesteryear.. . I can envision myself dancing with beautiful ribbons in every springtime color. Light, free...bliss personified.

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Every time I hear this song it reminds me of when I played it in 7 th grade
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slovell920
I love this concerto. Its a classic and to learn that he taught Bach... Wow!!!
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That post was copied after I read it, unintentiona l l y . Weird.
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robby_7_fan
I walked down the aisle to Canon in D Major at my wedding last May. There were no other choices. It's just beautiful.
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lgoddard05
Interesting biography of Johann Pachelbel. Most of which I didn't know.
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Pure beauty.
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jen.m.willou g h b y
I absolutely love this. I close my eyes and just.....abs o r b the beautiful sounds the instruments are making and smile. It never gets old, i never tier of it. *Sigh* so perfect.
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geoffrey.ber n a r d
The greatest.
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Some moments in life are pure beauty and this is one of them.
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wow he didn't wait long before getting married again... speedgrievin g
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Pachebel's masterpiece. T h e melody is so gorgeous, this is a melody played in heaven by angels. One of my favorite pieces of classical music.
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Nope! This is the best one. Also most fun to play;) 3 strings
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susanne.vaug h n
I would love to hear some of his other compositions . This is so beautiful, there must be other great pieces by him.
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Yes. Pure genius. I can picture composers such as Bach and Beethoven writing their music and later conducting it- like their facial expressions and emotions. It makes me happy. :) love this.
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Lovely
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Love it.. I'm secretly a geek.. You're probably thinking- you can't be a geek your so cool!- okay you weren't. But still :)
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i love this work of art . its too gorgeus for words
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Too lovely for words.
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Ha, Rap is tight so is this, ha
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What happened to music this is f**king art not some rap bullshit
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I waited for this station to form.
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I guess you guys can listen to this, your lucky I'm letting you
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A MASTERPIECE!
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A MASTERPIECE!
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I would like this played at my wedding
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lov this song
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Someday I am going to write a poem to go with this song it is so inspiring!
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This is such a beautiful song I played it in violin at school
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This bio would make an interesting movie ;)
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Why did this just make me bawl?
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ninagrif6
This was played at my daughter's wedding 2 weeks ago - beautiful!
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So much more to pachelbel than cannon in d
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Best music to study to if only the advertising girl for amazon would stop reminding me that I got finals next week >.<
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niralimurthy
Beautiful
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Timeless, poetry with a violin. Bravo!
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I have this album. The music in it is just wonderful. Pachelbel and Fasch wrote some beautiful music. The Pachebel Canon on this album is the best rendition of this music I have ever heard. If you love great baroque music, buy this album.
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niralimurthy
Awesome! I play violin
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kaylaquinter o 9 9
I know how to play this on the viola. :>
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This piece always brings such fond memories of my mother telling me about her wedding. I will walk down the isle to this, of course!
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guyt20
I wike this song
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I LOVE this song! I'LL HIRE A BAND AND ORCHESTRA TO PLAY THIS AT MY WEDDING!
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Art is a difficult thing, Its your soul that youve chosen to hang out in the wind. For those of you that think this mans work is, as you so intelligentl y put it, crap, try exposing your inner most being and see what others think.
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This is the first time that I heard from this person. It is great~~!!
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Damn, to feel.
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